Energy and environmental security are major problems facing our global economy. Fossil fuels, particularly crude oil, are confined to a few regions of the world and the continuity of supply is governed by dynamic political, economic, and ecological factors. These factors conspire to force volatile, often high fuel prices while, at the same time, environmental policy is demanding a reduction in greenhouse gases and toxic emissions. A coherent energy strategy is required, addressing both energy supply and demand, taking account of the whole energy life cycle including fuel production, transmission and distribution, and energy conversion, and the impact on energy equipment manufacturers and the end-users of energy systems. In the short term, the aim should be to achieve higher energy efficiency and increased supply from local energy sources, in particular renewable energy sources. In the long term, a hydrogen-based economy will have an impact on all these sectors. In view of technological developments, vehicle and component manufacturers, transport providers, the energy industry, and even householders are seriously looking at alternative energy sources and fuels and more efficient and cleaner technologies – especially hydrogen and hydrogen-powered fuel cells. The Hydrogen Energy System has the best potential of becoming the energy system of the future. Hydrogen can be produced from sustainable, renewable sources and may contribute to meet the growth in world energy demand.


Energy Policy Energy Security Environmental Security Energy Life Cycle Sustainable Energy System 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • John W. Sheffield
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of Missouri-RollaRollaUSA

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